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1410_World-Cafe

AFN Opens With Speeches, Subsistence Concerns

By | October 18, 2012

 The Alaska Federation of Natives convention kicked off today [thursday] with speeches, fanfare and a bit of fireworks. The annual event, takes place at Anchorage’s Denaina Center. This year’s theme is “Success Beyond Barriers.” Keynote Speaker Carol Wren, a young woman now working with the Cook Inlet Tribal Council spoke about how her life took her from a village background to a job helping other native people achieve success. She thanked those who mentored her along the way:

 ” I’ve had supervisors, mentors and coworkers along the way who guided my work, who’ve pushed me to think critically and they’ve challenged me to use my voice and engage in fearless dialogue to address problems and find solutions. I’ve been given the opportunity to question and explore my Native identity, and what it means to me. We, as Native people, have overcome and adapted to rapid changes in our world. We’ve survived assimilation practices, we’ve adapted to the cash economy. We’ve worked to maintain our unique cultural identity and world view, while also adapting to the Western world view and way of life.”

 Wren is the great grandaughter of Native healer Della Keats.

 Governor Sean Parnell and his wife, Sandy, spoke as a couple, keying in on the value of the state’s youth. Parnell said Alaska’s youth are the state’s greatest treasure and he urged young people to set goals and work to achieve them despite obstacles and crippling personal doubts

“Some of those barriers we create for ourselves, and some of them are handed to us. Some of those barriers like lies that go around our head. Lies that say ‘I’m no good” or lies that say “how could anyone really love me.’ You know, those are just what I said. Those are lies. And here’s the truth: every person, every Alaskan in this room, has value. Every person has worth. It doesn’t matter what’s going on in your head, believe that truth.”

 The Governor said fear is one of the greatest barriers the world can put up, steering his talk toward the administration’s initiative against domestic violence and sexual abuse.  First Lady Sandy Parnell addressed the difficult topic of sex trafficking, which she said is one of the greatest threats to Alaska’s young people.

 ”Girls from rural communities coming to Anchorage are vulnerable. Especially if they’re support system fails, or housing falls through, and they find themselves on the street. Traffickers entice girls by offers of new clothing, getting hair or nails done, and a place to stay. They’re told they are special, and that they will be taken care of. Sometimes during this grooming stage, while things are still going well, the girls are told to recruit family or friends. But then it turns ugly, and very, very violent. “

 AFN president Julie Kitka kept her remarks brief. Kitka reminded the gathering that Alaska Natives, despite great success in many areas, still face hurdles. She pointed to budget cuts in Washington D.C. and the affect the cuts could have on Native organizations:

 ”Regardless of who’s elected, the fiscal cliff we all read about in the papers and see on television will remain. There is no protection for Native American programs from these automatic cuts, so we can only work hard to encourage the members of Congress and the new administration to solve these financial problems of our country, but not resolve it on the back of poor people in the country or on the back of Native Americans.”

Kitka warned that Alaska Natives face a 7.8 percent cut in funding for programs, including health care.

Congressman Don Young, who is running for re-election, provided the fireworks in the morning, and took the opportunity during his address to AFN to warn Alaska Natives that disunity is the way to failure. Young told the group that conflicts between different Native groups need to be resolved internally, saying conflicts over subsistence fish are an example. He said Alaska Natives could approach the state for changes in subsistence management. And he said depending on the federal government to solve subsistence problems is a mistake.

 ”What ever you do, when it comes to subsistence, don’t say ‘we’ll let the federal government do it.’ You’re just stepping into a frying pan out of the fire. You will lose all your rights. If you want to manage game, ask to manage it on your own lands. Why not let the state have the management they should under the constitution of the state of Alaska, the management on federal lands, and kick the Park Service out, Fish and Wildlife out and all the rest of them.”

 The Alaska Federation of Natives convention runs through Saturday.

[18AFN host wrap lockyer wrap oct. 18]

The Alaska Federation of Natives convention kicked off today [thursday] with speeches, fanfare and a bit of fireworks. The annual event, takes place at Anchorage’s Denaina Center. This year’s theme is “Success Beyond Barriers.” Keynote Speaker Carol Wren, a young woman now working with the Cook Inlet Tribal Council spoke about how her life took her from a village background to a job helping other native people achieve success. She thanked those who mentored her along the way:

[CutID: <Carts> 18AFN wren 1.wav

Time: 41s

Title: 18AFN wren 1

Description: 18AFN wren 1

In-cue: i've had supervisors

Out-cue: way of life]

” I’ve had supervisors, mentors and coworkers along the way who guided my work, who’ve pushed me to think critically and they’ve challenged me to use my voice and engage in fearless dialogue to address problems and find solutions. I’ve been given the opportunity to question and explore my Native identity, and what it means to me. We, as Native people, have overcome and adapted to rapid changes in our world. We’ve survived assimilation practices, we’ve adapted to the cash economy. We’ve worked to maintain our unique cultural identity and world view, while also adapting to the Western world view and way of life.”

Wren is the great grandaughter of Native healer Della Keats.

Governor Sean Parnell and his wife, Sandy, spoke as a couple, keying in on the value of the state’s youth. Parnell said Alaska’s youth are the state’s greatest treasure and also talked about his administration’s initiative against domestic violence and sexual abuse. First Lady Sandy Parnell addressed the difficult topic of sex trafficking, which she said is one of the greatest threats to Alaska’s young people.

[CutID: <Carts> 18AFN sandy parnell.wav

Time: 35s

Title: 18AFN sandy parnell

Description: 18AFN sandy parnell

In-cue: girls

Out-cue: turns ugly]

“Girls from rural communities coming to Anchorage are vulnerable. Especially if they’re support system fails, or housing falls through, and they find themselves on the street. Traffickers entice girls by offers of new clothing, getting hair or nails done, and a place to stay. They’re told they are special, and that they will be taken care of. Sometimes during this grooming stage, while things are still going well, the girls are told to recruit family or friends. But then it turns ugly, and very, very violent. “

AFN president Julie Kitka kept her remarks brief. Kitka reminded the gathering that Alaska Natives, despite great success in many areas, still face hurdles. She pointed to budget cuts in Washington D.C. and the affect the cuts could have on Native organizations:

[CutID: <Carts> 18AFN kitka short.wav

Time: 26s

Title: 18AFN kitka short

Description: 18AFN kitka

In-cue: but we know

Out-cue: americans]

“Regardless of who’s elected, the fiscal cliff we all read about in the papers and see on television will remain. There is no protection for Native American programs from these automatic cuts, so we can only work hard to encourage the members of Congress and the new administration to solve these financial problems of our country, but not resolve it on the back of poor people in the country or on the back of Native Americans.”

Kitka warned that Alaska Natives face a 7.8 percent cut in funding for programs, including health care.

Congressman Don Young, who is running for re-election, provided the fireworks in the morning, and took the opportunity during his address to AFN to warn Alaska Natives that disunity is the way to failure. Young told the group that conflicts between different Native groups need to be resolved internally, saying conflicts over subsistence fish are an example. He said Alaska Natives could approach the state for changes in subsistence management. And he said depending on the federal government to solve subsistence problems is a mistake.

[CutID: <Carts> 18young AFN 3 short.wav

Time: 29s

Title: 18young AFN 3 short

Description: 18young AFN 3

In-cue: whatever you do

Out-cue: and all the rest of them (laughter)]

“What ever you do, when it comes to subsistence, don’t say ‘we’ll let the federal government do it.’ You’re just stepping into a frying pan out of the fire. You will lose all your rights. If you want to manage game, ask to manage it on your own lands. Why not let the state have the management they should under the constitution of the state of Alaska, the management on federal lands, and kick the Park Service out, Fish and Wildlife out and all the rest of them.”

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